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Warner & Kaine Applaud Congressional Passage of Partial Government Funding Bill

After five months of delays, Congress passes partial funding legislation for fiscal year 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded congressional passage of legislation to avert a partial government shutdown and fund key of the government for Fiscal Year 2024. This legislation funds major priorities across several federal departments, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Energy, Interior, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as their related agencies. Specifically, this legislation includes more than $467.5 billion in federal funding, including nearly $148 million in federal funding for Virginia-specific projects secured by Sens. Warner and Kaine.

“It’s about time,” said Sen. Warner. “I was proud to support the passage of this legislation, which will give our federal agencies the funding they need to serve the American people and respond to the novel needs of the current fiscal year. I’m particularly thrilled that we were able to secure funding for over 100 individual projects in communities throughout the Commonwealth. These projects will make a world of a difference at the community level, tackling specific needs like making our neighborhoods more resilient to climate change, improving the quality of drinking water, addressing homelessness, strengthening local transportation systems, supporting domestic violence victims, and investing in young Virginians, among many others.”

“Although this is long overdue, I’m glad we passed legislation to fund several parts of the government. The bill includes many provisions I fought for to make our communities safer, expand access to affordable housing, support child care on our military bases, and boost economic growth,” said Sen. Kaine. “I’m proud that we secured funding for 105 community projects across Virginia that will improve transportation, upgrade water infrastructure, support health care, and more. I urge Congress to take up the rest of the government funding bills as soon as possible.”

As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process, members of Congress were able to work with the communities they represent to request funding for local community projects, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects in Virginia. The Senators worked to secure nearly $148 million for community projects across the Commonwealth.

Through strong advocacy, the Senators secured funding in the budget bills for the following projects in Virginia:

  • For projects in Northern Virginia, click here.
  • For projects in Central Virginia, click here.
  • For projects in Southwest Virginia and Southside, click here.
  • For projects in the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
  • For projects in Hampton Roads, click here.
  • For projects that impact communities in multiple regions across the Commonwealth, click here.

In addition, the budget bills include funding for the following Warner and Kaine priorities: 

Supporting Nutrition: The bill includes $7.03 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to ensure that millions of women, infants, and children can access adequate nutrition. It also includes $80 million in administrative funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, the USDA purchases a variety of nutritious, high-quality USDA foods, and makes those foods available to state distributing agencies.

Increasing Access to Healthy Food: Includes $500,000 for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), a public-private partnership that provides technical assistance and financing to support existing grocery stores, food hubs, agriculture producers, farmers, mobile markets, and other food retailers.

Making Our Communities Safer: Provides $713 million – a $13 million increase from Fiscal Year 2023 – for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution programs to prevent violence and better support survivors. This legislation also includes over $664 million for Community Oriented Policing Services to support state and local law enforcement including efforts to address gang and gun violence and improve school safety and $50 million to support communities developing comprehensive, evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs based on partnerships between community residents, law enforcement, local government agencies, and other community stakeholders.

Addressing Drug Trafficking and Substance Use Disorder: Includes $51 million for the COPS drug trafficking task force programs and provides $420 million in Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) grants to support specialized court docket programs like drug, mental health, and veteran treatment courts and substance abuse treatment programs administered by state and local correctional facilities.

Expanding Economic Opportunity: Includes $200 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission and $20 million for the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission to support their work to build economic partnerships, create opportunity, and foster economic development.

Increasing Access to Health Care for Seniors: Includes $62.5 million for states to provide education and counseling for low-income seniors to understand and enroll in the specialized Medicare programs they may qualify for through December 31, 2024. This provision is based on the Helping Seniors Lower Their Health Care Costs Act, legislation championed by Sen. Warner.

Keeping WMATA Running: Includes $150 million in grants to carry out mandatory spending from the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

Strengthening our Nation’s Ports: Includes $120.5 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, which provides funding to projects that improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port. This funding is in addition to $450 million in advanced appropriations from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which brings the total amount of funding for this program in FY24 to $570.5 million. The Senators also secured $47.45 million for dredging at Norfolk Harbor to maintain and improve navigability supporting the Port of Virginia.

Increasing Air Travel Safety: The bill provides more than $20 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, including needed funding to allow for the hiring of an additional 1,800 new air traffic controllers.

Supporting Economic Development: Includes $468 million for community economic development through the Economic Development Administration (EDA). This includes $100 million for Public Works grants, $25 million for the Good Jobs Challenge Program, $50 million for the Regional Innovation Program, and $79.5 million to support communities dealing with power plant closures.

RAISE Grants: Includes $345 million for the RAISE Grant program, which helps communities around the country carry out road, rail, transit and port projects with significant local or regional impact. When combined with the $1.5 billion in bipartisan infrastructure law advanced appropriations, the RAISE Grant program will see more than $1.84 billion in total funding in fiscal year 2024.

Support for Missing Persons Program: Includes $1 million to help with the nationwide implementation of the Ashanti Alert system. In 2018, Sen. Warner secured unanimous Senate passage of the Ashanti Alert Act, legislation that created a new federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18-64. The bill was signed into law on December 31, 2018.

Combating Hate Crimes: Provides $9 million for the enactment of the Khalid Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which creates grants for state and local governments to combat hate crimes. The Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, championed by Sens. Warner and Kaine, was named partially after Heather Heyer, a Virginian murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville in 2017.

Keeping the Chesapeake Bay Clean: Includes $92 million for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program – the primary federal program that supports Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts – as well as $8 million for the Chesapeake WILD program, which focuses on enhancing habitat for fish and wildlife and recreational opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Additionally, this legislation also includes $3.02 million for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Trails program, which provides unique and vital assistance to state, local, and nongovernmental partners throughout the watershed to increase public access to the Chesapeake Bay and support education programming and outdoor recreation.

Supporting George Washington and Jefferson National Forests: Includes $6.8 million from the Great American Outdoors Act Legacy Restoration Fund to address deferred maintenance within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Protecting Southern Appalachia’s Natural Treasures: Includes $9.5 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Forest Legacy program for the Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve Expansion Project in Floyd and Carroll County. This project will protect 3,311 acres of Southern Appalachian Eich Cover Forest and productive white pine, as well as nearly 14 miles of mountain streams at the headwaters of the New River.

Caring for America’s Veterans: Includes $121 billion for veterans’ medical care, including $343 million to support improved access to care for veterans in rural communities, $990 million for gender-specific health care services and related investments in facilities, $3.1 billion to support critical services and housing assistance for homeless veterans, and $16.2 billion for mental health services and suicide prevention outreach.

Providing Veterans With the Benefits They’ve Earned: Includes $3.9 billion to administer benefits to veterans, including efforts to decrease the claims backlog.

Supporting Military Construction Projects: Includes $8.7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, which includes $1.8 billion for construction activities and $5.6 billion for operations and maintenance.  This includes more than $909 million for Virginia for 13 Navy, Navy Reserve, and Marine Corps projects at Dam Neck, JEB Little Creek-Ft Story, MCB Quantico, NS Norfolk, NWS Yorktown, and Norfolk Naval Shipyard; an Army National Guard project at Sandston; and Defense-Wide projects at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon. Notable projects include:

  • $35 million for a Child Development Center at JEB Little Creek-Ft Story;
  • $43.6 million for a Child Development Center at NS Norfolk;
  • $185 million towards the DIA Headquarters Annex at Ft Belvoir;
  • $20 million towards a new Aircraft Maintenance Hangar for the Army National Guard at Sandston – a top longtime priority for the Virginia National Guard.

Housing our Servicemembers: Includes roughly $2 billion for family housing construction.

Protecting U.S. Interests from Malicious Actors: Forbids any funds appropriated in THUD from being used in contravention of the American Security Drone Act. This provision was based off Sen. Warner’s STOP Illicit Drones Act, bipartisan legislation that prohibits the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from operating or providing federal funds for drones produced in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Advancing Scientific Discovery: Includes $8.24 billion for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science sponsors basic research in the physical sciences and supports 22,000 researchers at 17 national laboratories across the country, including Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia. Within the Office of Science, the bill includes $11 million for the CEBAF Renovation and Expansion project at Jefferson Lab and $95 million for continued work on the Electron-Ion Collider – a collaboration between Jefferson Lab and Brookhaven National Lab in New York.

Supporting Nuclear Fuel Security: Includes $2.72 billion in repurposed supplemental funding that will support the domestic production of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU), which is critical to power upcoming advanced nuclear reactors. This funding will go towards implementation of the Nuclear Fuel Security Act – which was included in the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act – that authorizes the Department of Energy to create a Nuclear Fuel Security Program to increase the quantity of HALEU to support the growing advanced reactor fleet. Sen. Warner was a cosponsor of this legislation. The bill also provides an additional $100 million in discretionary appropriations for advanced nuclear fuel availability.

Leading in Next-Generation Energy: Includes $900 million in unobligated supplemental funding to support the development of small modular reactors. This includes up to $800 million for not more than two near term utility commercial deployments of a Generation 3+ small modular reactor technology in the U.S. It also includes $100 million for one or more competitive awards with a 50 percent cost share to support design, licensing, supplier development, and site preparation of a grid-scale Generation 3+ reactor design that can be deployed no later than 2030.

Promoting Tech Hubs: Includes $41 million for EDA’s Regional Tech Hubs program. In October 2023, Sens. Warner and Kaine announced the selection of the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Consortium in the Richmond/Petersburg region as one of EDA’s 31 inaugural Regional Tech Hubs. Led by the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, this consortium will ensure that critical pharmaceuticals are manufactured here in America by employing regional assets, scientific capacities, and public and private investment to accelerate the growth, innovation, and sustainability of the U.S.-based pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. In the New River Valley and Danville, the Virginia Additive Manufacturing and Applied Material Strategy Development Consortium received a Strategy Development Grant, which will go towards advancing a regional strategy based in the New River Valley to develop and deploy additive manufacturing system technologies for heavy industry to re-shore manufacturing and to strengthen domestic supply chain resilience. 

Following the passage of this partial funding legislation, Congress will have to come together to pass a second bill to fund the parts of the government that remain without FY2024 funds. It must do so before the March 22 deadline.